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Artist Leadership Program for Individual Artists - The National Museum of the American Indian’s (NMAI) Artist Leadership Program (ALP)

Deadline:

May 04, 2015

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OVERVIEW

The National Museum of the American Indian’s (NMAI) Artist Leadership Program (ALP) for Individual Artists enables indigenous artists to research, document, and network in Washington, D.C., then return home empowered with new artistic insights, skills, and techniques to share with their communities and the general public the value of Native knowledge through art. The program aims to rebuild cultural self-confidence, challenge personal boundaries, and foster cultural continuity while reflecting artistic diversity.

The program’s primary objectives are for individual indigenous artists to focus on artistic processes while researching the vast collections of the Smithsonian Institution (SI); meet and consult with staff at SI and other arts organizations; participate in a public art panel discussion, speaking as voices of authority on their art; break down stereotypes about indigenous art; and, through a personal artistic narrative, speak to social justice issues and current events important to indigenous communities.

The program’s secondary objectives include to mentor young artists in collaboration with elders; convene local artists for networking and to share ideas and resources; affirm that indigenous arts hold value and knowledge; and through indigenous arts, offer communities a means for healing and new ways to exchange cultural information.

Applicants must choose one of two community projects and may not apply to both:

  • Youth Public Art
  • Artist’s Community Workshop

Up to four participants total may be selected for each of the two community projects. Artists selected in each of the projects will participate in a two-part program:

  • Travel to Washington, D.C., to conduct research in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution (SI), and other local museums; meet with NMAI/SI staff; conduct presentations for NMAI staff and the museum public; and visit area museums and galleries.
  • Return home to facilitate a community project in order to share knowledge learned from their experience and research conducted in Washington, D.C.

KEY DATES FOR 2015

Applications must be submitted using the ALP online application by 5 PM eastern time, Monday, May 4, 2015. Only complete applications received by the deadline will be considered.

Artists selected will be expected to be in Washington, D.C., November 30 through December 11, 2015. Artists’ community projects should be completed before September 2016.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

  • Indigenous artists of the Western Hemisphere or Hawai‘i who are recognized by their community and who can demonstrate significant artistic accomplishments. The targeted artistic experience will be from mid-career to accomplished artist.
  • Artists may work in any medium: visual art, media, sculpture, textile and fiber arts, performance arts, literature, etc.
  • Artists may submit only one application, to do either Youth Public Art or an Artist’s Community Workshop.
  • Artists who have participated in or served as panelists for the Artist Leadership Program are not eligible to apply for two years after the time they last participated. Artists who have participated in previous Youth Public Art, Visiting Artist, or Community Arts Symposiums may apply, but they must select a different community project than they previously selected.
  • Previous participants must have completed all prior requirements before acceptance in a new project. Previous participants also must wait one year after completing their community projects before they are eligible to apply.
  • Artists working with youth must be able to successfully pass a security background check conducted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Protection Services (OPS).
  • If selected, the artists must provide a DUNS number.
  • Artists must be in good standing with U.S. Government agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and able to register in the System for Award Management (SAM), a database of individuals and companies that do contractual business with federal agencies. Registration in SAM is necessary to ensure payment of contractor invoices.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Washington Visit

Individuals selected for the Artist Leadership Program for Individual Artists will travel to Washington, D.C., to:

  • Conduct research in the collections of the NMAI, SI, and other local museums.
  • Meet with NMAI/SI staff; conduct presentations for NMAI staff and the museum public.
  • Visit area museums and galleries.

Selected artists will receive assistance to make appointments for training and museum research visits. ALP participants who request online research appointments from the National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives, and non-Smithsonian collections will be expected to follow through. While in Washington, D.C., artists will also be provided professional training services that may include developing PowerPoint presentations, web portfolios, video oversight and direction, marketing and career strategies, and business and leadership skills.

Participants in the Artist Leadership Program for Individual Artists will also be able to meet with staff and consultants taking part in the Artist Leadership Program for Museums and Cultural Arts Organizations.

Artists selected for this year’s Artist Leadership Program will be expected to be in Washington, D.C., November 30 through December 12, 2015. NMAI program staff will provide a detailed itinerary prior to the artists' arrival, give an orientation, and offer administrative assistance for presentations to museum staff and the museum public. Every ALP participant is strongly encouraged to be on time for all departures and appointments provided in the itinerary.

During the research experience, participants may ask for copies of documents, photos, or collections data. All copy costs are the responsibility of the participant.

The Smithsonian requires all participants to pay a nominal fee for liability insurance, usually less than three percent of the participant’s contract amount.

All ALP participants are asked to take part in a public art panel discussion titled “Bringing It Home: Artists Reconnecting Cultural Heritage with Community,” and to provide a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation about their art, research, and community project to the public at the museum. This presentation will be developed in a training session and presented initially to NMAI staff during an informal brown-bag lunch. The public art panel discussion will be webcast live and archived on the NMAI YouTube channel.

Artists’ Community Projects

Following the visit to Washington, D.C, each artist will return home to facilitate a community project to share knowledge learned from the experience and research. The project should be completed before September 2016.

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